Don't be Afraid to Introduce your Young Child to Big Kid Books

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My son is two and he generally does not gravitate towards board books or 'baby' books of any kind.  Nope, he's on to 'big kid' books.  Real pages, and a lot of the time, non-fiction.  He absolutely loves reading, and allowing him to explore the books HE chooses is a key factor in encouraging his already rooted enjoyment in books.

Alex (3) enjoys a great Train book (geared at much older kids)

I think one of the biggest  mistakes parents can make when it comes to their kids and reading is to 'lock in' and obsess over age guidelines for books.  Working with Usborne for the past 2 years has given me plenty of experience, both in families and within the school setting.  Over and over, I've encouraged families to branch out and allow their children to choose the books they are interested in.  But, inevitably, a 5-year- old girl wants an Atlas meant for 8-year-olds and the parent can't get past the idea that the publisher chose to type a little "8+" beside the book description.

Our kids check out a fantastic book about Spiders.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes, when a book publisher says a book is for 8-year-olds, it's because the illustrations and/or photos aren't appropriate for younger kids.  But, when mixed with parental discretion (ie: you check the book out before giving it to your child), introducing books meant for kids of all ages, to very young children, can be extremely beneficial and rewarding.

Children love real pictures.  Especially boys.  They want to look at real people, doing real things.  They are curious about real plants, animals, space, the earth, locomotives, cars, trucks, different communities and countries - and why not introduce it to them?  Why not show them detailed, incredibly relevant,  highly engaging images?  It will do wonders to spark their interest and draw them in to the wonderful world of reading for information and pleasure.


I highly recommend the Information for Young Readers/Beginners series, by Usborne, by the way!  It is our favourite and we're building up quite the library.

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